THE MOMENT I TURNED – Bo, from the trenches / by Bo Gerard

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As performers, we can all probably remember the moment we turned.  The moment we saw the career we were going to pursue from that day forward.

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My turn towards Magic came considerably later than most.  As a teen I had always dreamed of somehow being involved in music.  Not necessarily as a career, but just as a life choice.  I loved music.  I listened to albums over and over again, analyzing them and mining them for the secrets of their structure, dynamics and emotional content.  This love of music led me to a short and not so illustrious career as a recording artist; singing, writing and recording with a band that got signed to a label and then fell apart a few months later.

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My love for music led me to audition for a new Off-Broadway Rock Opera, and I turned and saw a new possible direction for myself – Theater.  As I was transitioning from playing in bands to acting in theater, I was given a birthday gift by a friend.  It was actually intended as more of a joke than anything.  It was a TV Magic Kit.  Having spent the last few years singing and performing on the stage, I immediately saw this magic stuff as another possible tool in my performing belt.  Performing magic for people reached them in ways I had not known before.  So, I would perform for my bandmates and fellow cast members, experimenting with form and style.

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My interest finally took me to the famous Tannen’s Magic Shop in Manhattan, where one could spend hours watching the greats and near-greats of magic talking and performing for each other in the small showroom space.  I was further influenced by some performers I worked with, who incorporated magic into theater, and visa versa.  That was the moment I turned.  I saw a way to combine my energy and passion, into an art that viscerally effected its audience.  An art that could be used to make statements, both political, and social.  And it was a perfect vehicle for my comedic instincts, which I had been honing since childhood.  It has been a wonderful journey, and I am glad I made that turn.

What was the moment you turned?